Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Best Actor 1989: Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot

Daniel Day-Lewis won his first Oscar from his first nomination for playing Christy Brown a man from an Irish family of 13 children who suffers from cerebral palsy. Which causes Brown to physically disabled but not mentally.

My Left Foot is an interesting film about Cristy Brown who became a great artist and writer despite only being able to do anything with his left foot. The story works because it does not romanticize or sentimentalize Brown. Instead it shows him as not a fully positive character but a man with own faults and problems that have nothing to do with his cerebral palsy.

Daniel Day-Lewis is simply brilliant as Cristy Brown. First of all he gets the technical features of the performances perfectly. His mannerisms and movement never seem forced or awkward but rather completely natural. Doing a voice as Lewis does can become repetitive but it never does with Lewis is works and it fits. I like the way he develops the voice when he is in his early stages of speaking and then later when he develops greater vocal skills. But the technical aspects do not matter if the performance is not emotionally convincing.

 Lewis though is able to convey a fully emotional effective performance through all the physical requirements of the role. Every scene Lewis nails as well as possible. Lewis goes through so much in this performance that he could have fallen at his face at anytime but he never does. I love the joy he shows in his scene when he gets the coal with his brothers. His face is just perfect that he makes with such a limited ability in terms of body movement, yet he conveys more with his eyes and restricted mouth than most performances do with their entire body.

 Lewis has some brilliant stand out scenes that are basically incomparable such as his scene where he reacts to the doctor not returning his love. Lewis is so effecting in that scene. His emotion is just properly raw and realistic, despite his characters handicap. Lewis makes Brown into a fully realized person who it seems you meet and know from watching his performance, he is that good. My favorite scenes of his though my be at the end where he tries to ask the nurse out at the end of the film. His pleading to her, and frustrations are handled with the utmost brilliant care of Day-Lewis. When he finally convinces here it is perfectly satisfying and a great end to a great performance.

7 comments:

Fritz said...

BRILLIANT performance!

joe burns said...

Haven't seen this, but I've heard a lot of good things about it.

Louis Morgan said...

You should watch it, at least for Day-Lewis' performance.

Fritz said...

Don't forget the wonderful Brenda Fricker and the amazing kid who plays the younger Christie. In fact, the whole ensemble is outstanding!

Louis Morgan said...

They certainly are.

Tanvir Bashar said...

Which actors wud u say r day Lewis contemporaries

Louis Morgan said...

Laurence Olivier, Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro as their names are the one synonymous, in the public mindset, with great acting.

Being more technical about it Gary Oldman in that both are extremely respected as chameleon type actors yet neither have achieved stardom.